The American republic is in disarray, political polarization is the highest its been in decades, news media has become factional and balkanized, and different individuals are finding it more and more difficult to agree on reality. Underlying all of this, neither side seems to be willing to initiate a discourse with each other or reflect on itself, as if everything that is wrong with the country is “the other side’s” fault, and compromise seems like an child-like dream. This is a dangerous state of affairs, similar to that of Germany’s Wiemar Republic prior the the rise of the Nazi regime. If citizens cannot converse with each other with resorting to violence, the inevitable results is a call for more order from an authoritarian agenda, more police presence, and a decline in our democratic-republican institutions (a police state). When social order breaks down, fascism thrives, be it from the Right-wing or the Left-wing. This is why is so important to maintain a national commonality as American citizens, a commonality that cuts through political ideology.
Extremists on both ends of the political spectrum – the alt-Right and the alt-Left, racial identitarians and the self-proclaimed anti-fascism movement – currently dominate the national discourse. Where are the centrists who an provide a more in-depth and nuanced analysis or an alternative opinion from the dribble we hear on cable news outlets? Where are the journalists who are willing to document reality regardless of their personal ideology? Where are the politicians who will advocate for every American, not just their primary base of voters?
I want to see more centrists coming to the forefront of the national debate as a vanguard for the classic liberal ideas upon which the United States was founded, ideas like the separation of government powers, federalist divisions of power (national versus regional), populace participation in government, aristocratic checks on tyrannical majorities, and (perhaps most importantly) equality under the law as well as individuality. If the American public wants to see rational discourse among its media, then we need to take control of our media. The internet and the Web allows people to do just that, to upload their own opinions and investigations into their governments in order to tell their own true stories about communities. That is why I started the Taos Times blog. Optimistic, perhaps, but I think life needs a little optimism.
There is a particular “community” of content creators on the Web (primarily on YouTube) that has come to be known as the “Skeptic Community.” The technicalities of what qualifies one community is another discussion, but I have decided to feature one of these so-called YouTube Skeptics below: Gary Edwards in a recording about the role of news media in a democratic society.
I am featuring another creator here: YouTube user “Sargon of Akkad, a skeptic who is a self-proclaimed culture-warrior intent on protecting liberal values of the West.
I will feature more content creators on this blog more frequently with the purpose of increasing access to educational content, thereby furthering the democratic cause for a more educated body-politic.